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Governors out of the loop

Discussion in 'Governors' started by neddyfonk, Jul 6, 2016.

  1. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I have been a governor for 3 years now and keep finding things that I should have known about in the first few weeks. Much of this is organisations, events, companies selling resources, software packages, new initiatives etc etc. With the addition of governors to Edubase which is due for full rollout in September it seems our chaotic government has an ideal opportunity to provide governors with filtered news/articles/adverts/ notes on good practice etc via email that give them valid questions to ask at meetings. Questions such as: does the school attend TeenTech events, has the school requested STEM Ambassadors to do workshops, has Big Maths been looked at, has mindfulness been considered, has anyone attended a Digital Eagles programming workshop and is SAP going to be used for assessments will tell heads and chairs that we are well informed about recent offerings and enable us to ask more challenging questions. This could of course have been instigated by the nga, SGOSS, DOIT or TES but has not happened.
    How many governors feel this would be of help ?
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    You do seem to want spoonfeeding @neddyfonk. Can't you think up your own questions after 3 years as a governor? Adverts forwarded to me by DfE? Please no! It would not help me at all.

    Reading this alongside your previous posts it strikes me that you are still trying to get involved in operational matters and haven't grasped governance. You posted before that you came to governance from a 30 year career in IT. You are not their IT leader but it seems to me that is what you are trying to be. So I am not surprised it is causing tension between you and the head and other governors..

    There is no reason at all why governors should have been told about "companies selling resources, software packages,". Questions such as "does the school attend TeenTech events, has the school requested STEM Ambassadors to do workshops, has Big Maths been looked at, has mindfulness been considered, has anyone attended a Digital Eagles programming workshop and is SAP going to be used for assessments" are reasonable questions for a governor to ask to get an understanding of what the school is doing but they aren't core issues.

    You are paddling around in issues of fringe importance to school governance.
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  3. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Not at all. We are supposed to ensure budgets are spent wisely on things that are in the best interests of providing a good education. Without pertinent information about what has been adopted as good practice or good value by other schools how can best value be guaranteed ? I refuse to paddle around in the dark. How else am I going to differentiate between a dynamic forward looking school and one that is stuck in an old fashioned rut ?
     
  4. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    This all seems to be your personal viewpoint on what you think the school should be doing it IT. Others seem to think you are meddling. Based only on what you've posted I think they are right.
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  5. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I can only assume that you, unlike many governors I know has had the benefit of being fully immersed in education for some considerable amount of time. Its a bit condescending to assume everyone knows what you take for granted.
    You also seem to believe I lack the social skills to raise questions without causing tensions. I am well versed in the art of open questions which are designed to give food for thought rather than fuel for an argument.
     
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    I've posted nothing of the sort. I've said you are raising tensions by getting too involved in operational matters, something which in a previous post you admitted both the head and the chair had told you. If you want to be the school's IT consultant the governors should create the post and you can apply for it. But don't confuse that with governance. And just because you don't like my opinions there's no need to try and smear me as condescending. If you only want opinions you agree with you've come to the wrong place.
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    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
    bevdex likes this.
  7. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Not at all. I want an honest, lively debate about governance. You believe it does not need to be reformed but I do. Obviously something needs doing which is evidenced by the lack of any participation by governors on this forum.
     
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    That is not my opinion and I have said it is. So far all the "reforms" you want seem to be connected with allowing you to get more involved in your school's ICT.

    There's no logic at all in that statement. The number of people posting here is not evidence of anything very much, certainly not evidence that the structure of governance needs changing.
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  9. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Do your research :) You are obviously keen to be well informed, so ask questions, then do your research and think in order to make the informed contribution, as one member of the body, on decisions that you are keen to.
     
  10. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I do but I still keep coming across things I should have known much earlier or things that are informally agreed within school/head social networks.

    A few examples: All school trips have to be approved by the GB. In SATS official documentation there must be an observer and it is advised that a governor would be a good choice. The notification letter of an Ofsted inspection invites ALL governors to attend and/or make comments in writing. None of these things were communicated to me for 3 years and I never saw any of the official ( not confidential) letters which were sent to the head.

    Out in industry I used to use WHICH reports to help make decisions about which printer / monitor / office software etc to buy. There needs to be something similar in education to help governing bodies / heads / senior management make good decisions about assessment 'tools', educational toys, resources, school management software, specialist training etc. Buying the 'wrong' thing based upon an ad or inadequate research or a vague endorsement from a nearby school can be a terrible waste of time and money.
     
  11. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

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    They don't. If you are a LA Community school the LA might create local authorisation rules in its capacity as employer of staff. Otherwise the GB can decide who authorises school trips. Governors normally review and approve from time to time the procedure the school uses for school trips but not each and every trip. That's delegated to the head.

    There is no such requirement. Heads might chose to have an observer, and the observer might or might not be a governor, but there's no obligation on heads to do this. It's not that common in my area.

    Has your school had an Ofsted inspection while you've been a governor? If so then yes all governors are invited by Ofsted to attend a meeting with the inspector. But In practice usually the GB decides who will represent them.
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  12. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    @neddyfonk, yes, money can be wasted on poor purchasing choices, but far more is wasted when Governing Bodies switch from looking at the big picture to micro-management. I have seen it happen and the result was, to be generous, not good.
     
    bevdex and digoryvenn like this.
  13. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    You seem to have very little understanding of your role as a governor.
     
    bevdex and nomad like this.
  14. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    And your comments are not very constructive. As I keep telling children "If you cannot say anything nice - do not say anything at all " ( says he thumbing his nose ).
     
  15. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Thank you Rottweiler - such are the nuances of different schools in different authorities with different heads with different powers of delegation and different interpretations of good practice. Maybe more of these things should be standardized and published to avoid confusion ?
     
  16. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

     
  17. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    OMG @neddyfonk are you for real? Constructive comment: Please attend Governor training (again?) and please do NOT try to interpret the content to fit your preconceived opinions.
     
  18. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    I do not think I care for your tone. The comments you quoted were not in response to your post.
    My opinions are based purely on the experience of a flawed system that needs to change before it is abandoned as being inadequate.
     
  19. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    What do you want to change it to?
    Do you want governors to be in charge of operational matters without any teacher training or teaching experience?
     
    bevdex and DaisysLot like this.
  20. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Established commenter

    Most of my concerns about governance have little to do with teaching. Finance is archaic - there is no good reason governors should not have modern tools such as EIS ( Executive Information Systems ), hypercubes and drill down functions to break down budgets, purchases and revenue without having to bother admin or request reports detailing sublevels or individual transactions. Adhoc short meetings to discus issues could easily be conducted over video conference ( even Skype multi-user ). I also find it bizarre that someone decided that we should not know or use any on the names of pupils, parents or teachers in meeting to discus performance, progress, attendance or behaviour where it is often very pertinent.
     

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